• About this title - Celebrating 100 Years of Female Fellowship of the Geological Society: Discovering Forgotten Histories

      Burek, C. V.; Higgs, B. M. (Geological Society of London, 2021-03-15)
      The Geological Society of London was founded in 1807. At the time, membership was restricted to men, many of whom became well-known names in the history of the geological sciences. On the 21 May 1919, the first female Fellows were elected to the Society, 112 years after its formation.This Special Publication celebrates the centenary of that important event. In doing so it presents the often untold stories of pioneering women geoscientists from across the world who navigated male-dominated academia and learned societies, experienced the harsh realities of Siberian field-exploration, or responded to the strategic necessity of the ‘petroleum girls’ in early American oil exploration and production.It uncovers important female role models in the history of science, and investigates why not all of these women received due recognition from their contemporaries and peers. The work has identified a number of common issues that sometimes led to original work and personal achievements being lost or unacknowledged, and as a consequence, to histories being unwritten.
    • Celebration of the centenary of the first female Fellows: introduction

      Burek, Cynthia Veronica; orcid: 0000-0002-7931-578X; Higgs, Bettie Matheson (Geological Society of London, 2020-11-12)
      AbstractThe Geological Society of London was founded in 1807. In May 1919, the first female Fellows were elected to the Society, 112 years after its foundation. This Special Publication celebrates this centenary. A total of 18 papers have been gathered to highlight recent research, carried out by 24 authors. The publication also builds on stories introduced in a previous Special Publication of the Geological Society, The Role of Women in the History of Geology, edited by Burek and Higgs in 2007, the first book to deal solely with this topic, and in an article by Burek, ‘The first female Fellows and the status of women in the Geological Society of London’, in 2009. It fills in some of the gaps in knowledge with detail that has only recently been uncovered, leading to more in-depth analysis and reporting. The current publication includes more examples from the twentieth century, and a small number into the present century, allowing some trends to be identified. The collective work is finding connections previously undocumented and in danger of being lost forever owing to the age of the interviewees. The same work also identifies several common challenges that female geoscientists faced, which are still evident in the current investigations. By building on what went before, filling gaps in knowledge and enriching the histories, interesting nuanced insights have emerged.
    • Female medal and fund recipients of the Geological Society of London: a historical perspective

      Burek, Cynthia V.; orcid: 0000-0002-7931-578X (Geological Society of London, 2020-06-25)
      AbstractThe Geological Society of London has historically awarded medals and funds to early career geologists and for career achievement recognition. Mid-career and outreach awards were later added as categories. This paper will concentrate on early recipients of funds and medal winners mainly during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.In the nineteenth century, only two women received recognition by the Geological Society for their work through early career funds (not medals): Catherine Raisin in 1893 and Jane Donald in 1898.From 1900 to 1919, no woman received a medal but funds were collected by men on behalf of Gertrude Elles, Elizabeth Gray, Ethel Wood, Helen Drew, Ida Slater and Ethel Skeat. The first woman to collect her own Fund was Ethel Skeat in 1908.Pre-World War II, only four women received career recognition in the form of a medal. Gertrude Elles in 1919 and Ethel Shakespear in 1920 received the Murchison Medal. No further medals were awarded to women until Maria Ogilvie Gordon in 1932 and Eleanor Mary Reid in 1936. It was not until the end of the 1990s and into the twenty-first century that a significant number of women received medals. It is noted that the William Smith Medal was only received by a woman in 2019 and the Dewey Medal has yet to be received by a woman. An analysis of the different medals and funds awarded to females through the Geological Society is discussed in detail with snapshots of the women who were so recognized. As we move into the twenty-first century we see an increase in these awards to women.
    • Gertrude Elles: the pioneering graptolite geologist in a woolly hat. Her career, achievements and personal reflections from her family and colleagues

      Tubb, J.; Burek, C. V. (Geological Society of London, 2020-10-26)
      AbstractGertrude Elles gained worldwide renown for her seminal work with Ethel Wood on A Monograph of British Graptolites, which is still used today. She gained the MBE, pioneered female geological education, became the first female reader in Cambridge University and one of the first tranche of female Fellows of the Geological Society in 1919. An eccentric with a vast array of hats, PhD students and lodgers, she was a stalwart member of the Sedgwick Club and life member of the British Federation of University Women. She wrote obituaries for colleagues describing their achievements with humour and good nature. Her family describe her as ‘a fabulous woman’ with a huge range of interests including archaeology, botany and music. She related her geological and botanical knowledge in showing a nephew that plants growing along the Moine Thrust reflected change in the underlying rocks. Cambridge colleagues recall her as a ‘marvellous and well-respected figure’ who caused some amusement by her big old cluttered table from which she swept away material making room for new samples (and work for technicians). She died in 1960 in her beloved Scotland. However, her legacy survives in the classification of a group of fossils extinct for nearly 400 myr.
    • Mabel Elizabeth Tomlinson and Isabel Ellie Knaggs: two overlooked early female Fellows of the Geological Society

      Burek, Cynthia V.; orcid: 0000-0002-7931-578X (Geological Society of London, 2020-07-10)
      AbstractThe first female Fellows of the Geological Society of London were elected in May 1919. Brief biographies were documented by Burek in 2009 as part of the celebrations for the bicentenary of the Geological Society. While some of those women were well known (e.g. Gertrude Elles and Ethel Wood), others had seemingly been forgotten. In the decade since that publication, information has come to light about those we knew so little about. There are, however, still some details evading research. From 1919 until 1925, 33 women were elected FGS, including Isobel Ellie Knaggs (1922) and Mabel Tomlinson (1924). Mabel Tomlinson had two careers, and is remembered both as an extraordinary teacher and a Pleistocene geologist. She was awarded the Lyell Fund in 1937 and R.H. Worth Prize in 1961, one of only 13 women to have received two awards from the Geological Society. She inspired the educational Tomlinson–Brown Trust. Isabel Knaggs was born in South Africa and died in Australia but spent all her school, university and working years in England. She made significant contributions to crystallography, working with eminent crystallography scientists while remaining a lifelong FGS. The achievements of Tomlinson and Knaggs are considerable, which makes their relative present-day obscurity rather puzzling.
    • Margaret Chorley Crosfield, FGS: the very first female Fellow of the Geological Society

      Burek, C. V.; orcid: 0000-0002-7931-578X (Geological Society of London, 2020-07-10)
      AbstractIn May 1919 the first female Fellows of the Geological Society were elected and from then on attended meetings at the Society. The first person on the female fellows’ list was Margaret Chorley Crosfield. She was born in 1859 and died in 1952. She lived all her life in Reigate in Surrey. After studying and then leaving Cambridge, Margaret had sought to join the Geological Society of London for many years, in order to gain recognition of her research work, but also to attend meetings and use the library. This paper will look at her history and trace her geological achievements in both stratigraphy and palaeontology, as well as her extraordinary field notebooks that she left to the Geological Survey. She worked closely with two female geological colleagues, Mary Johnston and Ethel Skeat. Margaret Crosfield epitomizes the educated, amateur, independent woman who wanted to be recognized for her work, especially fieldwork, at a time when female contributions, especially in the field sciences, were not always acknowledged or even appreciated.